Good Morning, #CarbonArmy! It's Friday and once again we're doing "Founder Friday" with James Wilson.
"This Friday is a big racing weekend for many-- our Black Armor Racing Team is with World Racing League (WRL) at MSR Houston for the first enduro of the year; MotoGP is filling up the stands at Circuit of the Americas just across the street from our shop, Global MX-5 Cup is racing at Barber, and I'm sure countless Club events and HDPE's going on all over the country. Spring is in the air, and unless you're in the North, the snow is finally off the ground and it's time to get back in the racecar!
With the new season comes time to check your gear. If you have an old Snell SA2000 or SA2005 helmet, you'll probably get turned away at Tech for having outdated equipment. Snell SA2015 is the current specification, and many sanctioning bodies are still allowing SA2010 and SAH2010 helmets, assuming they are in good shape. What does "good shape" mean? No visible cracks or crash damage, all hardware intact, your Frontal Head and Neck Restraint anchors properly mounted (we see quite a few loose or mounted backwards when we inspect old helmets!), and the internal liner not deformed or damaged. Sweat, gasoline, heat, age, and use can deteriorate the EPS foam liners that are inside your helmet that does the impact force dissipation part of keeping you safe. The other foam pads assist with proper fit and comfort, and if they are worn out or chunking apart, it's time to replace the pads or the helmet. Black Armor Helmets have fully replaceable padding on the inside so that you can inspect and wash them, keeping your helmet smelling better and help keep you safe throughout the life of the helmet.
We get a lot of calls and emails this time of year for replacement helmets. We hear some frustration in the voices of the callers when it comes to our inventory; it seems like we are "always" Out of Stock on a lot of our products. Why is that? Well, first, Black Armor Helmets are VERY popular! We sell out quickly of common sizes and models. As a small-batch manufacturer, we typically only product between 40-75 carbon helmets in each size per production run. It sounds like a lot, but spread across the demand from our local customers, our distributors, dealers, and international customers, it's really not that many. We produce in small batches to assist with material acquisition, maintain a high level of quality control, maintain consistency in production, and keep our costs lower so that we can continue to offer helmets at market-appropriate prices. So why don't we just "build more?" The short answer is, we'd love to! We are working on expanding our production capabilities, step one for that was moving to our larger facility in Driftwood, Texas back in 2016. We quickly outgrew that, and have since moved to a new facility Trackside at the Circuit (Circuit of the Americas). This new site is 17 acres of prime land that is poised for development, so we can grow to meet the demands of our customers. Second, we are planning for the Snell SA2020 certification cycle now so that we can be ready to produce quality helmets in enough quantity to meet sales demands. Third, we have already started hiring and filling positions to free up tasks that had been taking a bit of our time away from core work, increasing overall efficiency. Last, we are partnering with our distribution channels and creating new avenues for end users to try on and get our helmets with less waiting, and more racing!
Have a great weekend y'all, and race safely!"
Black Armor Helmets